Wikipedia:Meaningful examples in pop culture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon was one of the most influential, widely acclaimed, and best-selling concept albums ever.
Harry Nilsson once recorded a concept album too. But why should you care?

Occasionally, an editor will add examples from pop culture to an article without consideration for the policy of due and undue weight. It's an issue usually found in articles with a broad scope, such as music genres or art movements. At its worst, the article turns into a rambling, drawn-out mess of TL;DR and coatracks.

One real example of this issue can be found in this earlier revision of Concept album, which ran through an exhaustive, indiscriminate list of albums and their themes. Most readers are not interested in a complete and comprehensive history of every concept album ever recorded, only the notable ones – and explaining why they were notable is vital for establishing encyclopedic relevance.

In short, examples should be limited to the historically meaningful. If you can't find sources that directly support phrases like "the earliest", "prominent figure", "highly influential", or "inspired a new wave" to whatever/whomever you're referencing, then they're probably not important enough to mention in the first place.

"Namedropping" examples[edit]

The widely accepted standard is that verifiability does not guarantee inclusion. In October 2015, it was determined by consensus that sources should:

[...] not only establish the verifiability of the pop culture reference, but also its significance.

This means it's highly undesirable for articles to include references to artists or works without elaborating their significance to the main topic.

Establishing encyclopedic relevance[edit]

Some possible rationales for establishing encyclopedic relevance include:

  • being one of the first examples of the topic.
  • having increased public awareness of the topic.
  • having foreshadowed later developments of the topic.
  • being considered by reliable sources to be a major figure within the topic.

Instead of namedropping, provide a clear explanation of the example's contribution to the main topic.

See also[edit]

Related guidelines[edit]

Related essays[edit]

Useful cleanup templates[edit]